Home • Mortierella ambigua NRRL 28271 v1.0
Mortierella ambigua NRRL28271. Photo credit: Julian Liber
Mortierella ambigua NRRL28271. Photo credit: Julian Liber

The genome of Mortierella ambigua NRRL28271 was sequenced by JGI in the framework of the ZygoLife project and Community Sequencing Project 1978 – “Genomics of the early diverging lineages of fungi and their transition to terrestrial, plant-based ecologies”. Zygomyceteous fungi are an ancient and diverse group of sexual and filamentous fungi, whose evolutionary history and ecological associations remain poorly resolved. The ZygoLife project aims to: 1) reconstruct the genealogical relationships of this early diverging branch in the fungal tree of life; 2) resolve the origins of symbiotic relationships between plants and zygomycetes; 3) reveal how complex body plans evolved in the group; 4) elucidate mechanisms of mating genetics between organisms with complex and differing life cycles, and; 5) develop genomic barcodes to facilitate identification of unknown fungi. Towards these goals we are sequencing genomes of diverse representative zygomycete taxa.

Fungi in the genus Mortierella belong within the subphylum Mortierellomycotina (phylum Mucoromycota). These fungi are important industrially given their unique lipid and fatty acid metabolism, and they are common and abundant inhabitants of soil and plant roots. Despite these observations, their basic biology and ecology remains poorly understood.

Mortierella ambigua was originally isolated from garden soil in India and described (Mehrotra et al. 1963). This species has since been isolated across Eurasia, and related species have been isolated from North America in association with millipedes (Macias et al. 2019).

Macias, Angie M., Paul E. Marek, Ember M. Morrissey, Michael S. Brewer, Dylan P. G. Short, Cameron M. Stauder, Kristen L. Wickert, et al. 2019. “Diversity and Function of Fungi Associated with the Fungivorous Millipede, Brachycybe Lecontii.” Fungal Ecology 41 (October): 187–97.

Mehrotra, B. S., Usha Baijal, and B. R. Mehrotra. 1963. Two New Species of Mortierella from India. Mycologia 55 (3): 289–96.